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Holy Motors (2012)

Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy | 4 July 2012 (France)
2:32 | Trailer

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From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the shadowy life of a mystic man named Monsieur Oscar.



28 wins & 68 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Oscar / Le Banquier / La Mendiante / L'O.S de la Motion Capture / M. Merde / Le Père / L'Accordéoniste / Le Tueur / Le Tué / Le Mourant / L'Homme au Foyer
Céline (as Édith Scob)
Kay M
Eva Grace (Jean)
Elise Lhomeau ...
Léa (Élise)
Jeanne Disson ...
L'Homme à la tache de vin
Le Dormeur / Voix Limousine (as LC)
Nastya Golubeva Carax ...
La Petite Fille
Reda Oumouzoune ...
L'Acrobate Mocap
Zlata ...
La Cyber-Femme
Geoffrey Carey ...
Le Photographe / Voix Limousine
L'assistante photographe
Elise Caron
Corinne Yam


We see a few seconds of a black and white, silent art film. There is a dark movie theater filled with people watching this film. The camera mostly remains on the audience. Cut to a man sleeping on twin bed with a sleeping dog next to another empty twin bed with the same sheets. He gets up and looks out the window and we see he is next to an airport. One of the walls is covered in wallpaper with skinny bare trees. He puts his ear to the wall. There is a hole in the wall and he looks through it but we don't know if he can see anything. He has a metal instrument on the middle finger of his right hand. He sticks the instrument into the hole in the wall. His hand shakes a little and he turns the instrument. This allows him to open a door in the wall. The dog joins him as he steps through the door. There is a set of double doors and he steps through them. It seems as though he has stepped through the fire exit on the balcony of a movie theater, presumably the theatre that the film opened in...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Fantasy


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

4 July 2012 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Sveti motori  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Edith Scob, who plays chauffeur Céline, starred in the French horror classic Les yeux sans visage (1960), by director Georges Franju. Franju's cinema is the object of several homages throughout 'Holy Motors'. The mask that Céline puts on by the end of the film is a direct reference to 'Les yeux sans visage'. See more »


Mr. Oscar: I am so afraid I will never die.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Katya, for you" with a picture of Yekaterina Golubeva during the closing credits. See more »


Funeral March (Adagio molto)
from String Quartet No. 15 in E flat minor (Op. 144)
Written by Dmitri Shostakovich
See more »

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User Reviews

'Holy Motors' is tediously obscurist hogwash.
15 February 2013 | by (England) – See all my reviews

The film is a parade of pseudo-intellectual claptrap, a mere montage of disjointed oddity; it has no direction, it just presents the viewer with one weird, meaningless image after another. I derive no positive emotion from a film that relies solely on ambiguous subtext, surrealism and symbolism.

I began to lose faith in the film by the 40 minute mark, each minute after that began to drag severely. There are scenes that are well acted and quite touching, but when they're thrown into this mess they're completely wasted. Some people have been flabbergasted by the suggestion that it's 'boring', I don't see what's so surprising about that, how can you be engaged by something that's so utterly meaningless?

Some people have praised its imagery, waffling on about how it 'celebrates the medium'. I agree it's striking and unconventional, but that's all it is; the best films achieve in both celebrating the medium of film and delivering strong, engaging narratives, whether they're simple or complex. Any idiot can throw together two hours of sheer meaningless oddity and claim it to be 'metaphorical' – it's weak filmmaking.

Even fans of the film have no idea what's going on, however many of them seem to relish mustering up their own vague, self-aggrandising interpretations of it. Although there are those who genuinely enjoy such ambiguity and have an honest approach to analysing the film, there are many that don't.

These are people who are likely to fiercely defend the film; typically, they will patronisingly label the film's critics as ignoramuses who need their narratives to be 'spoon-fed' to them. I cringe to think about the scores of obnoxiously pseudo-intellectual people who will attempt to revel in the utter poppycock that 'Holy Motors' serves by the shovel load. I apologise for such strong language, but it irks me.

This is as bad as avant-garde cinema gets; it's nothing more than an indulgence by Leos Carax.



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